The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) is primarily governed by the Utilities Commission Act and follows sections of the Clean Energy Act, Administrative Tribunals Act, Insurance Corporation Act, and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The BCUC also administers BC’s Fuel Price Transparency Act.
When reviewing applications, the BCUC exercises this authority to consider Intervener evidence, submissions, Letters of Comment, and government policy, as long it is within the BCUC’s mandate.
However, the BC government can participate in BCUC proceedings, establish new regulations, or provide direction that the BCUC must follow.
The BC government can intervene or submit a Letter of Comment in applications before the BCUC to put forward a particular viewpoint. Submissions could include a request that the BCUC consider a particular policy objective in a proceeding, for example.
Regulations address the details and practical applications of the law. They contain specific guidelines, definitions, and details, and have the force of law. The legislation that governs the BCUC defines who (e.g. BC Cabinet or a Minister) can make new regulations or change existing regulations.
Section 3(2) of the UCA allows the Lieutenant Governor in Council (i.e. BC Cabinet) to give directions instructing the BCUC on how to exercise its powers, perform its duties, or refrain from doing either, under the UCA. These directions are provided through an Order in Council (OIC), which directs the BCUC to take action or not take action on a specific task and can include a variety of directions.
The table below includes all directions the BCUC has received from the BC government. These can be searched by the following types:
Or change in regulation or legislation.
To explore public policy issues that require technical expertise and public input, issued under Section 5 of the UCA. The Order in Council (OIC) may contain terms of reference that define the scope and require that the BCUC hold public hearings and report its findings and recommendations to the BC government.
To exempt certain projects, organizations, expenditures, or programs from the BCUC’s review, which can be issued as an OIC or a Ministerial Order (MO).
To review only certain aspects of an application, minimize the scope of a hearing, or follow certain procedure to meet public policy objectives.
|Entity||Year||Category||Description||Corresponding Documents||Proceeding Page|
|3CP Energy Utility Company Ltd.||2014||Exemption||On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by OIC 400 granted advance approval to the BCUC to exempt a person who owns or operate in BC a Thermal Energy System, with a capital cost less than a maximum threshold and greater than a minimum threshold, as established by the BCUC from time to time, from sections 44.1, 45, and 59-61 of the Utilities Commission Act for that specific Thermal Energy System.||
|Apollo Forest Products Ltd.||2020||Regulation||The BC government by MO M076 amended the Apollo Forest Products Ltd. exemption regulation.|
|Apollo Forest Products Ltd.||2016||Regulation||The BC government by Ministerial Order 417 exempted Apollo Forest Products Ltd. from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act in respect of the Apollo Transmission System and the provision of transmission service from the biomass thermal generation facility located approximately 6km north of BC Hydro’s Fort St. James No. 2 Substation.|
|ATCO Electric Ltd.||2015||Exemption||On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by OIC 455 exempted ATCO Electric Ltd. from the requirements of Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, except for sections 25, 38, 42 and 43 for its distribution facilities used to supply electric service to its Alberta/BC Border customers.||ATCO Electric Ltd. Alberta/BC Border Customers Exemption Application|
|Bakerview EcoDairy Ltd.||2016||Exemption||On the recommendation of the BCUC, the BC government by Ministerial Order M167 exempted Bakerview EcoDairy Ltd. from Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act, except sections 25, 38, 42, 43, 44 and 49, for the resale of electricity via the Electric Vehicle Direct Current Fast Charging station located on its property.||Bakerview EcoDairy Ltd. Application for Exemption to Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act for Electric Vehicle Charging Service Providers|
|BC Hydro and Power Authority||2021||Direction||The BC government by OIC 172 amended Direction No. 8 to the BCUC and directed the BCUC to not exercise its powers under section 71 (1)(b) and (3) of the UCA.||BC Hydro 2020 Transfer Pricing Agreement Application|
|BC Hydro and Power Authority||2021||Exemption||The BC Government by MO 216 amended the Transmission Upgrade Exemption Regulation and made the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell Mine Exemption Regulation which exempts BC Hydro and Power Authority from Section 41 of the Utilities Commission Act in respect of ceasing the operation of the Orenda repeater station and section 45 (5) in respect of the authority’s system required to provide service to the project or enable construction of the project.|
|BC Hydro and Power Authority||2021||Direction||The BC government by OIC 365 directed the BCUC to allow BC Hydro to defer to the customer crisis fund regulatory account (amounts not exceeding $5 million). The BCUC must issue final orders within 10 days of receiving the application so that BC Hydro’s Electric Tariff is amended as per the Appendix in this direction. The BCUC may not amend, cancel or suspend the rates set out in the amendments made except on application by BC Hydro.||British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority - Application for Electric Tariff Amendments for Customer Crisis Fund (CCF) Program|
|BC Hydro and Power Authority||2020||Direction||The BC government by OIC 159 directed the BCUC to approve certain BC Hydro requests in respect of rates due to the COVID-19 emergency.|
|BC Hydro and Power Authority||2020||Direction||The BC government by OIC 319 amended OIC 159 regarding an extension for relief required by BC Hydro to allow for it to provide relief to certain industrial customers impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic|
|BC Hydro and Power Authority||2020||Direction||The BC government by OIC 657 directed the BCUC to a) consent to the rescission of Tariff Supplement No. 37 – Northwest Transmission Line Supplemental Charge, within 10 days of receiving the application; and b) within 10 days after receiving an application from the authority to do so, the BCUC must set as rates the rate schedules that are attached to this direction as Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.|
|BC Hydro and Power Authority||2019||Regulation||The BC Government by MO M303 exempted BC Hydro and Conifex Power Limited Partnership from section 71 of the Utilities Commission Act in respect of an amendment to their energy supply contract dated June 11, 2011 allowing Conifex Power to produce up to 50 percent of the electricity supplied to BC Hydro using natural gas.|